“A 940-meter train with 82 containers, which carry Turkish products to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, has departed from Kars towards Georgia,” said the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey Adil Karaismailoğlu, Report informs, citing Turkish media.
According to him, Turkey plays an important role in the continuation of regional trade via railway during the pandemic: “Especially during the pandemic, many regional countries are trading via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK). Currently, taking disinfection measures, a large volume of cargos is being transported via the railway.
This is the longest train moving via the BTK. Delivering other loads to countries along the route, the train will arrive in Uzbekistan after nine days. Due to coronavirus, many countries are not able to meet their needs. The containers have Turkish products – from cleaning means to automobile industry products.”
Adil Karaismailoğlu said that after Iran restricted movement of transport facilities because of the coronavirus pandemic, many Asian countries started to export their loads via BTK. Moreover, nearly 55,000 tonnes of cargos have been transported via the BTK since March 3. At the same time, 100,000 tonnes of cargos, or approximately 3,000 wagons, were carried through Iran.
BTK was launched on October 30, 2017. The railway line provides a connection between the railway networks of Asia and Europe. This is the shortest way not only among the three countries but also between Asia and Europe. BTK reduces the time for cargo transportations by more than double.
The railway line simplifies the access of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan to Europe and world markets. The 504 km-part of the BTK, which is 846 km in length, passes through Azerbaijan, 263 km through Georgia, and 79 km through Turkey.
This route is planned to carry 5 million tonnes of cargo in the first stage, 17 million tonnes in the next steps and larger volumes in the following stages.